Sunday Short Reviews

Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
A soothing, beautiful and philosophical film, The Cave of Forgotten Dreams takes the viewer deep into the cave which houses some of the oldest cave paintings in recorded history. While the majority of the film is little more than shots of the cave paintings, the lighting, cinematography and overall presentation are beautifully executed, and Werner Herzog’s trademark voice narration makes for a calm, dreamlike experience. This is a quiet documentary, not the kind of doc that is championing a cause or even trying to teach us a history lesson. It’s a collection of ponderances of the nature of humanity, emphasized by excellent camera work and that unusual personality that is Werner Herzog.
3.5 out of 5

Kiss of the Damned
I was put on to Kiss of the Damned by a review I read which stated that this film would reinvigorate my enjoyment of the vampire genre. While I would not go so far as to make that claim, Kiss of the Damned is a well-made low-budget vampire story that puts the emphasis on the characters rather than the fact that they are vampires. There are themes of love, lust, family and betrayal that would have played just as well had this not been a vampire film, but the addition of the creatures of the night adds just the right amount of spice to the proceedings. Kiss of the Damned is very well shot, the acting is good, and the script is solid as well, although lacking some backstory that feels like it might have been important to the plot. Overall, this is an above average vampire film, impressive in its simplicity, that will sadly be overlooked because of its generic title. Forget True Blood – this is what vampire romance should look like.
3.25 out of 5

The Purge
The premise of The Purge is a tough one to swallow: one night a year, for a twelve hour period, all crime is legal. This is done in an effort to purge humanity’s aggressive and animalistic instincts, and the apparent result is that crime is at an all-time low. I was ready to buy into this movie during the first ten minutes. The set up, while problematic, is an interesting one that paves the way for good social satire and a portrayal of an interesting dystopic near-future. However, there are far too many dead spots where the film slows down to a crawl that allow you enough time to really think about the logistics of the annual “Purge”, and the movie begins to fall apart immediately. The Purge really only depicts people committing murder during the annual purge period, and I think that’s one of its biggest failings. Why wouldn’t there be looting, rape, or excessive drug use? Not that I wanted all those things, but when all crime is said to be legal, it’s surprising that you never see anyone being burglarized or shooting up heroin. And what about white collar crime? Insider trading? Flat-out stealing from the company bank account? What’s to stop the entire economy from collapsing during the purge? These are the kinds of questions that start to come to mind, and the movie immediately crumbles because of them. After a half-decent first act, everything goes down hill when the movie becomes a typical home invasion film. The power is cut to the protagonist’s house, and the rest of the movie is just people running around in the dark with flashlights. The scares were ineffective and the premise just gets dumber and dumber. Purge this movie from your life.
1.5 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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